9-day Navratra festival commences at Katra
Last Updated: Saturday, September 19, 2009, 20:44
Jammu: The nine-day Navratra festival today kicked off with a colourful start at Katra-the base camp for holy cave shrine of Mata Vaishnodevi, 50 kms from here.

The festival, organised by Shri Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine Board (SMVDSB) and tourism department in collaboration with local organisations, was inaugurated by the Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation Raman Bhalla.

As a part of the inaugural ceremony, a magnificent shoba yatra depicting the rich cultural heritage of the state amidst spiritual ambience was taken out.

"The festival provides an opportunity to the visiting pilgrims from across the country and abroad to have a glimpse of our rich cultural heritage and peaceful co-existence of people of different faiths," the minister said.

He added that all efforts were being made to create additional infrastructural facilities at the holy town to meet out increasing rush of the pilgrims effectively.

Pawan Kotwal, Chairman, Navratra festival committee said he hoped that this year the number of pilgrims visiting the shrine would cross last year's record mark and reach 80 lakhs.

Around 60 lakh devotees have already paid obeisance till now, which is 12 lakh more as compared to the corresponding period of last year, he said.

Bureau Report

First Published: Saturday, September 19, 2009, 20:44

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